Shaun of the Dead

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Eighteen – 10/18/18

10/18 – 2004: SHAUN OF THE DEAD/DAWN OF THE DEAD

What the hell do you do with a year that not only gave us one of the best remakes ever of a George A. Romero masterpiece, but also the great horror dramedy that was inspired by the original version of said film?  Why, you review them both, of course!

The now-famous horror-comedy team of SIMON PEGG and NICK FROST, together with their frequent partner-in-crime, director EDGAR WRIGHT, had long since been fans of Romero’s entire body of work, when they began to cook up their own impossibly nutty take on not just that film, but the entire zombie genre, SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Think of what would have happened if the MONTY PYTHON group had gotten hold of the original script for DAWN, and put their own special “stamp” on it, and you’re pretty much there.

 

Pegg plays the titular electronic store clerk Shaun, of course…a rather ordinary bloke living a rather ordinary existence, save for a few unfortunate things…like his strained relationship with his mum, and his girlfriend, who’s now his ex. And like every guy who’s been through this, even though he has his best bud and roomie, Ed (FROST) who has his back like always, nothing is going to be the same for him, until he has his girl, Liz (KATE ASHFIELD) back.  But there is the bothersome matter of a zombie apocalypse to deal with, right in the middle of his “get my ex back” campaign.

  

There’s plenty of action in this, in between the guffaws and gaffes, not to mention enough bloodletting to satisfy gorehounds who might otherwise be inclined to skip it.  But as writers, Pegg and Wright never forget to give us fully-realized characters, and some stunning and memorable setpieces, including a look at Shaun’s daily routine in before-and-after apocalypse mode, which even with repeat viewings is still as funny and frightening as it was the first time.

A dead-on (pun intended) skewering of everyday British life, pop culture and the human condition (not to mention the condition of the undead who were once your family, friends and neighbors) SHAUN is never less than a brilliantly-conceived, funny-as-hell, sometimes gory and sometimes even touching tribute from two absolute super-fans of not just George Romero, but the sub-genre of horror that he singlehandedly created. In fact, the mutual admiration society they had going on was so intense, that George actually gave both Simon and Nick cameos in LAND OF THE DEAD!

Which brings us to the ‘new and improved’ version of DAWN. If it had been any other writing/directing team, I could imagine this remake of a classic would have sunk from the multiplexes without a trace. Until you consider that the writer and director in question are JAMES GUNN and ZACK SNYDER.  Now we’re talking!

The original DAWN opening, somewhat picking up from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, was pretty scary stuff, and you’d think that there wouldn’t be too many ways to make it scarier. But that’s where Snyder and Gunn say “Here, hold our beers.”

A family morning wake-up call has never been more horrific.  In the blink of an eye, the drowsy family morning routine of Ana (SARAH POLLEY) goes from being blasé, to a total bloodbath, when their infected daughter bites and kills her husband, turning HIM into an undead flesh-eater. The shocking sequence where she escapes, only to witness her entire neighborhood descending into mayhem is as unforgettable as anything Romero ever pulled off.

  

That’s not the only place where Gunn as a screenwriter stuck to the original Romero story beats, but still brought his own vibe and dark sense of humor to the proceedings. As Ana takes her chances with a group of survivors who decide to hole up in a local mall, just like in the original, the story pulls in the rest of the outstanding cast including VING RHAMES, JAKE WEBER, MICHAEL KELLY, TY BURRELL and MEKHI PHIFER.

And Phifer’s other half in the film, Luda (INNA KOROBKINA) is very, very pregnant, soon providing us with the horrific answer to a question we didn’t exactly get from, say, THE WALKING DEAD: what happens to pregnant women in the zombie apocalypse, who give birth to…well, you fill in the blank.

Not the biggest ‘feel-good’ zombie film in the bunch by a long shot (and those who have seen it multiple times know exactly why), this DAWN remake still stands tall as one of the better ones in the scads of Romero tributes, knockoffs and wanna-be’s.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: SAW, THREE…EXTREMES, SHUTTER, THE VILLAGE and GINGER SNAPS II: UNLEASHED were just some of the other goodies dropped on horror fans in 2004.

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, OPINION, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
History of Horror in April

History of Horror in April

April 1 – 7


04/01/1883 – Lon Chaney, Sr. born (d. 1930)

18830401_Lon_Chaney,_Sr._(born) / Public domain._The_Miracle_Man


20010401_Faust-Love-of-the-Damned / Fair use doctrine.


04/01/2001 – Faust: Love of the Damned released theatrically


04/01/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak released on the PlayStation 2 in North America

20040401_RE_outbreak / Fair use doctrine.


19710402_Darkshadows / Fair use doctrine.

04/02/1971 – Dark Shadows ends its run on television


04/03/1961 – Eddie Murphy (actor in Vampire in Brooklyn) born

19610403_Eddie_Murphy / Photo: David_Shankbone


19620403_Jennifer_Rubin_1988_publicity_headshot

004/03/1962 – Jennifer Rubin (actress in numerous horror films) born


04/04/1932 – Anthony Perkins (actor who portrayed Norman Bates in the Psycho films) born (d. 1992)

19320404_Anthony_Perkins / Photo: Allan Warren


19930404_When_A_Stranger_Calls_Back/ Fair use doctrine.

04/04/1993 – When a Stranger Calls Back premieres on television


04/04/2003 – Beyond Re-Animator released theatrically



20120405_RogerCorman Oct2012 / Image: Angela George

04/05/1926 – Roger Corman (director of numerous horror films) born

April 8 - 14


04/08/1955 – Kane Hodder (actor who portrayed Jason Voorhees in several of the Friday the 13th films) born

19550408_Kane Hodder (w Oderus Urungus) / Fair use doctrine.


19770408_Demon Seed / Fair use doctrine.

04/08/1977 – Demon Seed released theatrically


04/09/1996 – Tremors 2: Aftershocks released theatrically

19960409_Tremors 2 Aftershocks / Fair use doctrine.


20040409_Shaun of the Dead / Fair use doctrine.

04/09/2004 – Shaun of the Dead released theatrically in the UK


04/10/1992 – Sleepwalkers released theatrically

19920410_Sleepwalkers / Fair use doctrine.


20030411_House of 1000 Corpses / Fair use doctrine.

04/11/2003 – House of 1000 Corpses released theatrically


04/12/1962 – Cape Fear (1962) released theatrically

19620412_Cape Fear (1962) / Fair use doctrine.


19850412_Cat’s Eye / Fair use doctrine.

04/12/1985 – Cat’s Eye released theatrically


04/13/1984 – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter released theatrically

19840413_Friday the 13th-The Final Chapter / Fair use doctrine.


20060414_Scary Movie 4 / Fair use doctrine.

04/14/2006 – Scary Movie 4 released theatrically

April 15 - 21


04/15/1998 – Vampires released theatrically

19980415_Vampires / Fair use doctrine.


20050415_The Amityville Horror (2005).jpg / Fair use doctrine.

04/15/2005 – The Amityville Horror (2005) released theatrically


04/19/1985 – The Company of Wolves released theatrically in the United States

19850419_The Company of Wolves / Fair use doctrine.


20060421_Silent Hill / Fair use doctrine.

04/21/2006 – Silent Hill released theatrically

April 22 - 28


04/22/1935 – Bride of Frankenstein released theatrically

19350422_Bride of Frankenstein / Fair use doctrine.


19140424_William Castle / Fair use doctrine.

04/24/1914 – William Castle (director of numerous horror films) born (d. 1977)


04/24/2001 – Bio Zombie released on DVD

20010424_Bio Zombie / Fair use doctrine.


19530425_House of Wax (1953) / Fair use doctrine.

04/25/1953 – House of Wax (1953) released theatrically


04/25/2002 – Resident Evil released theatrically in Australia

20020425_Resident Evil / Fair use doctrine.


19560426_The Creature Walks Among Us / Fair use doctrine.

04/26/1956 – The Creature Walks Among Us released theatrically


04/26/1991 – Monsters ends its run on television

19910426_Monsters / Fair use doctrine.


20020426_Jason X / Fair use doctrine.

04/26/2002 – Jason X released theatrically


04/26/2005 – Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in North America

20050426_Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 / Fair use doctrine.


19800427_Mario Bava dies / Fair use doctrine.

04/27/1980 – Mario Bava (director of horror films) dies (b. 1914)


04/27/1990 – Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe

19900427_Castlevania II-Simon’s Quest / Fair use doctrine.

April 29 - 30


19800429_Alfred Hitchcock dies / Fair use doctrine.

04/29/1980 – Alfred Hitchcock dies (b. 1899)


04/29/1981 – The Beyond released theatrically

19810429_The Beyond / Fair use doctrine.


20040430_Godsend / Fair use doctrine.

04/30/2004 – Godsend released theatrically

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in September. Click on thumbnails for full images.

September 1 - 7


09/01/1939 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) released
theatrically

Poster The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Copyright RKO Radio Pictures


Poster Universal Pictures

09/02/1923 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame released
theatrically


09/02/1978 – Dawn of the Dead released
theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Image credit erinc salor

09/05/1942 – Werner Herzog (director of Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht) born


09/06/1879 – Max Schreck (actor who portrayed Count Orlok in Nosferatu) born

Public domain


Image Universal Pictures

09/06/1925 – The Phantom of the Opera (1925) released theatrically


09/07/1940 – Dario Argento (director, producer, and screenwriter of Suspira and other horror films) born

Photo by Ian Gavan - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com


Photo by Bobby Bank - © 2010 Bobby Bank - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

09/07/1954 – Doug Bradley (best known as Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series) born


09/07/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in North America

Image Konami

September 8 - 14


Fair use doctrine.

09/08/1990 – Bride of Re-Animator released theatrically


09/09/1954 – Jeffrey Combs (actor in many horror films) born

© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Fair use doctrine.

09/09/1997 – Cube released theatrically


09/09/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan

Image Capcom


Copyright 2005 Sony Pictures

09/09/2005 – The Exorcism of Emily Rose released theatrically


09/10/1993 – The X-Files premieres on television

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/10/2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse released theatrically


09/11/1987 – Hellraiser released theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/11/1992 – Candyman released theatrically


09/12/1958 – The Blob (1958) released theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Photo by Apger - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com.

09/12/1992 – Anthony Perkins (actor who portrayed Norman Bates in the Psycho films) dies (b. 1932)


09/13/1913 – Paul Wegener (director of The Golem: How He Came Into the World) dies (b. 1874)

Photo by A7A08A39_023.jpg - © Archives du 7e Art/Deutsche Bioscop - Image courtesy photo12.com.


Fair use doctrine.

09/13/1991 – Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare released theatrically


09/13/2005 – Supernatural premieres on television

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/14/1960 – The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) released theatrically

September 15 - 21


09/15/1974 – The Ghost Galleon released theatrically



© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

09/16/1963 – The Outer Limits premiered on television


09/16/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the US

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/16/2005 – Cry_Wolf released theatrically


09/17/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Europe

Image: Konami.


Fair use doctrine.

09/17/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak released on the PlayStation 2 in Europe


09/18/1963 – The Haunting (1963) released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/18/1998 – The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself released theatrically


09/20/1940 – The Mummy’s Hand released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/20/1975 – Asia Argento (actress in many horror films, daughter of Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi) born


09/21/1947 – Stephen King born

Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/21/1984 – The Company of Wolves released theatrically in the UK

September 22 - 28


09/22/1986 – Castlevania released for the Nintendo Entertainment System

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/22/1995 – Se7en released theatrically


09/22/1999 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation in Japan

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/23/1988 – Dead Ringers released theatrically


09/24/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in the US

Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/24/2002 – Vampires: Los Muertos released on video in the US


09/24/2004 – Shaun of the Dead released theatrically in the US

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/25/1959 – The Mummy (1959) released theatrically


09/25/1994 – Alone in the Dark 2 released on PC

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/25/1998 – Urban Legend released theatrically


09/26/1962 – Carnival of Souls released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/26/1970 – Sheri Moon (actress in House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Toolbox Murders) born


09/27/1985 – The New Twilight Zone premiered on television

Fair use doctrine.


Box art. Fair use doctrine.

09/27/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Japan


09/28/1987 – Friday the 13th: The Series premiered on television

Title card. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/28/2007 – Moonlight premiered on television


09/29/1955 – The Night of the Hunter released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/29/1995 – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers released theatrically

September 30


09/30/1984 – Tales from the Darkside premiered on television

Title card. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/30/1988 – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark released theatrically


09/30/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the European Union

Box art. Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments